FILE: Optics of the Future: Realism & Fantasy
It has been almost ten years since connected optical devices became a very concrete concept. Like any technological innovation, they had their infancy before taking off. Their advent is only a matter of time. If we still expect a lot from the big American tech brands, and in particular from GAFA, the first to communicate without having convinced yet, certain models are already weighing on the market. We take stock in this new file on the optics of the future.
Perspectives of the future: the digital revolution, finally?
Since the launch of Google Glass in 2011, connected glasses have become a more concrete project, but which promised to be infinitely more difficult to implement than a smartphone or a watch. The fault of the device itself, which offers little space to integrate a digital system. The promising project was stalled three years later. The idea seemed good, but impractical. The aesthetic and practical side of the device was bound to fail him. As a bonus, inserting a camera into an optical device raised the question of privacy. Digital technology seemed to have found its limits and the revolution would stop there.
But this was without counting on technological progress and the will of researchers who gradually succeeded in circumventing the obstacles and difficulties. The most surprising thing was that the revolution was not going to come, for once, from the GAFA. The main problem mainly comes from comfort, because when it comes to features and possibilities, there is no shortage of ideas. Video games have also already begun their technical and technological transformation with virtual reality , allowing you to fully immerse yourself in your game.
Mixed reality, already in focus
But for glasses, it looks infinitely more complicated. However, there is no question of abandoning the idea. Above all, before marketing to the general public, the possibility is given of helping the professional sector. The artificial intelligence axis makes it possible to offer companies like DHL, Boeing or General Electric devices to make their work easier. This is also the case in the medical field. After all, if the aesthetics are not suitable, it is not a problem, above all we must save time and productivity.
The user, on a construction site or when of an operation, will be able to benefit from mixed reality , a mix between the real and the virtual.
Other tech players, members of GAFA or not, continue to do so believe. Facebook and Apple in particular, specify that they are still working to improve their prototype. Especially since some studies predict the obsolescence of the smartphone in the coming decade. Glasses and watches would therefore no longer just complement the telephone, but replace it.
Future optics in the context of the Internet of Things
But what will the glasses of the future look like? At the beginning of the 2000s, it was very difficult to imagine what, twenty years later, we could do with a phone…Will it be the same with our glasses? It's possible. We could even be dazzled even more.
Indeed, the glasses of the future could and should integrate a form of artificial intelligence much more developed than that which we know. So, yes, the start seems very long for connected glasses but we must also take into account our awareness of the possibilities, much greater than in the last century.
According to EyeSee Mag : "Not only will the AI be able to reproduce a precise behavior but it will also be able to predict, judge, learn from what the user sees, reads, writes, listens to then be able to adapt or Combined with ever-increasing amounts of data, with even more efficient technologies dedicated to artificial intelligence, with increasingly advanced algorithms, the assistants who will equip our glasses of tomorrow will undoubtedly know at their fingertips the habits of their owner and will be able to identify and anticipate their needs at their request to quickly become indispensable. "
Above all, the glasses should automatically be integrated into an environment connected , which is called "Internet of Things" (IoT), an infrastructure that connects all connected objects (from the fridge to the TV via the cat bowl?)
Optical devices without limits?
But let’s stick to the glasses? In concrete terms, what would that look like?
What is now certain is that future smart glasses will integrate at least the features of our phones (navigation, call management and messages, media…) sometimes making them more practical thanks to the device (sport, translation, driving…)
The Chinese brand Xiaomi has already presented an ambitious device, without announce name, price or release date yet.
But in the future, could it be even crazier?
Indeed, we can already approach possibilities that go beyond the imagination. So, why can't these glasses, which can display your shopping list or prevent you from getting lost in the woods, also allow you to see perfectly in the dark, increase our visual field or restore perfect sight to the visually impaired? Devices are already working in this direction, and the greatest fantasies could then come true.
Other functions could be of great service: the possibility of capturing everything, of isolating parts of an image, of making your optical mounts able to adapt in a few seconds to the luminosity to become sunglasses, or even to make this modification yourself. Today, it is not ideas that are lacking, but rather knowing how to adapt them.
And if we are only talking about glasses, we must not forget the lenses , which are constantly moving in the direction of hypertechnology. Connected contact lenses are also the future of optics and hold great promise.
The outlook for the future is determined
It is now concrete to say that connected glasses are and will be the optics of the future . The first models, if they do not yet know the dazzling success of telephones or watches, are bound to change our perception. They also tend to prepare the ground and the market for the big players. The latter will not allow themselves to install 100% non-operational products for sale.
The train has been taken and we can think that it is late, but this was without taking into account the imponderables of the eyewear object, which require other technical and technological prowess and a level of Research and Development even higher than what is currently being done.
But there is no doubt that in the decade to come, these objects will be essential, firstly because they are beginning to prove themselves, and because the trajectory is all in all dazzling. Our perception tends to want to speed things up, without taking into account the immensity of the task.
To find out, see you in the future.